Make A Money Lei

May 2012:
It's graduation season and flower leis are popular celebratory attire to accompany cap and gown. Today the money lei made from real currency is on the rise. However, to be truthful the use of currency other than payment for a transaction is technically illegal.

My co-worker was kind enough to show me last week how to make a money lei as she had just completed one for her graduate nephew and insisted I make one for my son graduating in two weeks.

Here is my step-by-step instruction guide as taught by friend, with photos and a 7-minute video on how to make a Money Lei necklace:
50 Crisp dollar bills, so they hold their shape after folding
2-60 inch lengths of string, not sewing thread
52 beads, with a hole that will fit width of both strings
Glue stick, or hot glue gun
Small supply of clips, approx 1 dozen
1-spoon to aid in making a crisp edge
Fold bill in half to establish center line. Fold side edges from front to back of dollar bill the width of the fold you want your finished money "flower" to appear. The first outside edge fold from front to back is important. This is where you will glue the facing edges together to create a flower.
Fold accordion style from one side of the bill down to the center fold line. Use the back of a spoon to "iron" a sharp crease into the dollar paper as you fold.
Turn and fold from other side of the bill towards the center.
After applying folds across the entire bill, fold your narrow matchstick size bill in half to establish center line.
With glue stick or hot glue gun, glue together the outside edge to create a fan.  IMPORTANT: Do not glue entire length of bill where connecting, an opening here is required to pull string through to make your necklace. Use a small binder clip to hold in place while glue sets.
Glue other side of bill to make a circular fan, or money flower. Remember, only apply glue down the top 1/3 of the seam.
Take one string and pull from the backside of your flower through small opening between where you glued bill together and center of flower. Take second string and pull through the back of your flower the small opening in the second seam between where you glued and the center of the flower.
As you string money flowers you will need to add beads in between each flower so they are neatly arranged as a necklace and not hang in one clump on your string. Pull both strings together through the bead hole.

As you continue to make flowers and string them, you will want to pay attention to the final look of your project. As the lei is worn you should have all your flowers facing up for a uniform professional look. This means string half the flowers from one side of the strings, always strung through the back of the flower and the second half of your flowers strung through the other side of the strings.
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This entire project took me the length of one long movie. I hope you try to make a flower lei necklace of your own, and share with your friends. Send me your finished Money Lei necklace picture and I would like to post them.

My You Tube "How To Make A Money Lei" video", link below:


QUINCEANERA: Como hacer un collarde dinero paso a paso
Instrucciones en espanol: